Bargello Technique

by Joan Ervin

Use a technique borrowed from needlepoint to create an interesting background with thin strips of paper.


  • Paper cutter
  • Three or four sheets of different patterned papers at least six inches long
  • One 5" x 6" piece of thin white cardstock, or copy paper
  • Adhesive
  • Ink, stamps and embellishments to finish your card


  1. Step 1

    Cut several 3/4" strips of patterned paper, at least two from each pattern.

  2. Step 2

    Adhere the strips on the thin paper in a consistent design with sides touching and the edges even.

    Use at least one dark paper for a dramatic design look.

  3. Step 3

    Cut several strips in various widths.

  4. Step 4

    Play with the strips to create a design.

    They can be arranges in a zig zag pattern

  5. or a wave.

  6. Step 5

    Or create a pyramid design,

  7. or rick rack pattern.

  8. Step 6

    Adhere the strips in the pattern of your choice directly onto the card base or another sheet of thin paper to make a layer.

    The Bargello background can also be cut with a die for a shaped background layer,

  9. or trim the sides for a larger layer.

  10. Step 7

    Finish your project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Bargello Technique. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I love the bargello card, it is absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to try it! Who makes the fish stamp, he is just too darn cute!!
Melissa Temple  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 4:47 AM
Thank you so much for your fantastic videos. They are so inspiring!! I am doing this one !! I look forward to getting your videos!!!
Barbara johnson  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 5:13 AM
Thanks so much. The bargello card will enhance a card when using a small stamp and add interest to any card.
Norma Cottler  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 5:23 AM
Awesome. I never would have thought to do that.
Great tutorial,
Susie  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 5:40 AM
The fish stamp is from a Paper Smooches set called Birthday Buddies.
Joan Ervin  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 6:25 AM
Love this technique. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Andrea Brewster  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 6:52 AM
Looks like Origami paper would create a great look for this!
Susan  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 6:55 AM
Joan, thanks so much for sharing this fabulous tech. Thank you to Birgit for the video.
Fran Gumprecht  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:09 AM
I absolutely LOVE this technique and your card! Well done! As soon as I get off work this afternoon, I'm going to try it myself! Thanks for sharing! smile
Deby Scott  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:13 AM
Thank you for this technique and great tutorial Joan!! I really had fun playing with this. smile
lydia  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:17 AM
Great Tutorial Joan, I love this technique! Was trying it out this weekend and thought of you! Congrats on the wonderful tutorial!
Anne Harada  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:28 AM
Love this technique. Definitely going to be playing with this one.
Bonnie  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:28 AM
What an absolutely wonderful technique, and you made it look so easy. I have to try this!
Shirley Conner  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:31 AM
Where can I order the fish stamp?
Pat Machurick  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 7:45 AM
Love this technique. It's so versatile. I am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing with us.
Constance Mott  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM
I have done this technique using Avery full label sticker sheets to adhere the strips. Saves having to glue strips.
Martha  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 8:34 AM
A marvelous tutorial with a super background! Using assorted print papers showcases lots of them! Can hardly wait to try it.
Renee Drew  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM
cute card, i must try this technique.

I beleive that fish stamp is from Paper Smooches:
Csrol  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 8:56 AM
Thanks so much for your videos! I definitely
Will be doing this one today.
Peg Smith  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM
I love the dramatic effect you have created with beautiful patterned paper! It has inspired me to look over my stash of papers and get busy!!!
katharin  |  Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

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